In Bushwick, Brooklyn this weekend, 20 years of New York flashed before our eyes. 8th Avenue, was an installation based on 20 years of recordings that video artist Jimmy Akagawa took at 8th Avenue and 33rd Street in Manhattan. The focus was an always changing, large wall advertising mural on 34th Street.
Near the steps of the James A Farley Post Office building, Akagawa took the post office motto to heart and filmed through snow, rain, heat and the gloom of night, recording the passage of time, through the changing advertisements, fashions of pedestrians, evolving car designs and logos.
Anyone who has visited Manhattan is very likely to have passed along 8th Avenue, and can relate to this location. The large screen video was on a one-hour loop and many people spent more than an hour trying to work out which year, each segment was from.
Akagawa created a collage of many adjoining images of the location at different times which he projected onto the wall. He also had several retro TVs through which he streamed parts of the video, giving the context of time another dimension. Similarly, he commissioned a friend to paint an old-fashioned historical view of the same location that he shot from. Finally he gathered a group o children who watched the video and created their version of what they saw. A full circle in the passage of time.
The event was held at Mika Bushwick, a huge warehouse with an outdoor garden that somehow managed to look cozy and have the vibe of a local pub. The selection of micro beers was excellent, and the food was eclectic and tasty. Mika the owner is enigmatically Japanese, ably assisted by the English bar manager Jack. The place has a lot of entertainment and events which make it worthwhile keeping abreast of their calendar. However, the superstar at Mika is MAX.